This week's Movie review......

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Ang Mo
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Postby Ang Mo » Fri Jun 06, 2008 3:00 am

Watched The Sundowners which was nominated for Five Academy Awards. It was a good film starring Robert Mitchum and Deborah Kerr as an Australian couple raising a son played by Michael Anderson Jr. who play a family who are homeless (In Australia a homeless person is referred to as a Sundowner because their home happens to be wherever the sun goes down that day). The Robert Mitchum character loves the lifestyle and does not want to settle down and the wife and son have different ideas dreaming of having a home of their own. The family finally ends up getting some full time employment which gives them the opportunity to finally get a place of their own. Excellent supporting cast with Peter Ustinov, Dina Merrill, Glynis Johns, etc.
Pascal told only half the story. He said man was a thinking reed. What man is, is a thinking reed and a walking genital."

rahau
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Postby rahau » Mon Jul 14, 2008 5:30 am

Two of the billion-plus reasons to love the Bay Area are the Castro Theater, an elegant, opulent Art Deco movie palace, and the San Francisco Silent Film Festival, which just concluded its three-day run at the Castro. Last night, I watched an extraordinary film from 1928, The Man Who Laughs.

Conrad Veidt (Major Strasser in Casablanca) plays Gwynplaine, the son of a seventeenth-century British nobleman. When he was a boy, Gwynplaine’s father insulted King James II. The King executes the father, and, as further punishment, orders a gypsy doctor to mutilate Gwynplaine’s mouth into a permanent, garish grin, so that the boy may spend the rest of his life “laughing at his father’s folly.”

If that sounds a bit familiar, it’s no accident. Batman creator Bob Kane said he modeled the character of The Joker on Gwynplaine. Take a look at this movie still, and you’ll see the influence.

The adult Gwynplaine survives by touring with a traveling show. He is popular for all the wrong reasons. People come to laugh at his macabre appearance. Conrad Veidt turned in a stunning performance. As his audiences laughed, Veidt kept the smile, but you can see the deep hurt in his eyes.

Bob Kane probably wasn’t the only one influenced by this film. Director Paul Leni was a master of German Expressionism. Several scenes in James Whale’s Frankenstein, which was released three years later, strongly resemble scenes in The Man Who Laughed. If Leni had lived (he died in 1929 at age 44) he might have been remembered as one of the great directors of all time. J.D. Salinger's "The Laughing Man" may have been at least indirectly inspired by either the film or the Victor Hugo novel, or both. Olga Baclanova, who plays a vampy duchess (seen in the above photo), seems to have stylistically influenced Madonna more than a bit.

The film received only so-so reviews when it premiered. But over the years, discerning critics and audiences came to understand its greatness. With the upcoming release of The Dark Knight, we're seeing renewed appreciation for the film.

Seeing the movie at The Castro was a special treat. The film was accompanied by a live music score, played by Dennis James on the Wurlitzer organ. When the film ended, the crowd of three thousand stood and gave James an extended ovation. There’s just nothing like watching a classic movie with an audience of people who Get It.

Ang Mo
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Postby Ang Mo » Mon Oct 06, 2008 4:47 am

Watched Religulous which was a documentary by Bill Maher concerning some of the religions of the world such as Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. Very funny, but thought provoking. His epilogue at the end is actually quite chilling and it challenges anyone who watches this film to evaluate their "personal beliefs".
Pascal told only half the story. He said man was a thinking reed. What man is, is a thinking reed and a walking genital."

ben
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Postby ben » Mon Oct 27, 2008 11:28 am

I've been away for far too long... Seen a great number of movies though. Here's some of the best I've watched.

Perfume: The Story Of A Murderer - Ben Whishaw, Dustin Hoffman, Alan Rickman, directed by Tom Tykwer

About a lad gifted with an incredible sense of smell. The story is actually fantasy or rather of fantastic nature. But what I loved about it was the character development, photography, sceneries, and acting. This is to date my new favorite film.


Sleuth - Michael Caine, Jude Law, Harold Pinter, directed by Kenneth Branagh

This is a remake of the 1972 movie of the same title, which also stars Michael Caine. Although I didn't know it until I saw the extra features in the DVD. It's about an actor (formerly hairdresser) and a crime novel writer. Actor was having an affair with writer's wife and came to talk with writer regarding divorcing his the wife. What follows next was fight, a word war. Brilliant exchanges of words and brilliant game of control and humiliation. This is basically a dialogue driven film yet it was so exciting... even funny at times. With only 2 actors for the entire movie and the scriptwriter and the director played the less than one-minute take on the extras. Acting was superb, I was plesantly surprised with Law's acting.
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Postby Samantha » Tue Oct 28, 2008 3:17 pm

ben wrote:Perfume: The Story Of A Murderer - Ben Whishaw, Dustin Hoffman, Alan Rickman, directed by Tom Tykwer

About a lad gifted with an incredible sense of smell. The story is actually fantasy or rather of fantastic nature. But what I loved about it was the character development, photography, sceneries, and acting. This is to date my new favorite film.


If you enjoyed the film, then I really think you should read the original novel, by Patrick Süskind. The characterisation and descriptions are a lot more haunting and vivid, and I think you'll like that. :)

Ang Mo
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Postby Ang Mo » Wed Oct 29, 2008 6:25 am

I watched one of my favorite Henry Fonda movies called, Welcome to Hard Times which is a classic western about an attorney played by Fonda who comes face to face with a bully who proceeds to rape, rob, kill, and burn out the inhabitants of this town called Hard Times Aldo Ray plays the villian with gusto. What makes his role so interesting is he never has a single line of dialog. He just laughs like a lunatic while inflicting pain and death on people. One scene in particular is quite famous where after raping and killing a woman he walks onto someones property and rips an onion out of the ground and starts chomping it down like it's an apple. He then takes a hot coffee pot and drinks right out of scalding pot. Another citizen tries to stand up to him and Ray shoots him down and then proceeds to empty even more shots into his lifeless corpse. Needless to say he then burns down the town. The remaining citizens quaking in fear do nothing and Ray rides off laughing and disappears. Fonda encourages everyone to rebuild and they start life over again only to come face to face with this enemy again a year later.......
I would not say the end of the film was extremely happy, but it did have positive closure.


Speaking of Westerns, I could almost swear that I saw multiple versions of the Slim Pickens character from Blazing Saddles at a McCain rally shown on tv. :wink:
Pascal told only half the story. He said man was a thinking reed. What man is, is a thinking reed and a walking genital."

byranbu
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Postby byranbu » Mon Feb 16, 2009 1:40 am

I rented an oldie but goodie this past week. Does anybody remember “Heroes” with Henry Winkler and Sally Field? It was one of the first movies I saw on that new fangled movie chanel HBO. Watching it for the first time in 30 years was quite enjoyable. Sally Field should have gotten an award for over-acting especially towards the end of the movie. My favorite line was when she was crying while holding Henry Winkler saying “Don’t be crazy, I can’t have you if you’re crazy”. That line has been in my head for several months now, which was the reason I rented the movie.
The very end of the movie was such a letdown (no this isn’t a spoiler), I always thought the song” Carry On Our Wayward Son” by Kansas was a perfect fit for the end of this movie. They even listed it on the ending credits. Sadly they took the song out and replaced it with a song I never heard before, and it ruined the whole movie for me. :x :x It is like ordering a hot fudge Sunday only to find out they left the nuts off and replaced it with bacon bits, or eating a tootsie pop and when you get to the center you find an onion. I don’t know if there was some sort of copyright problem or what but I want to start a petition to put the song back into the movie.
What’s that, time for my meds, OK I gotta go now. :?
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Walking Stranger
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Postby Walking Stranger » Mon Feb 16, 2009 2:43 am

Is/are there any VT forumite-s who did watch "The Betrayal: Nerakhoon"?
I wish I could see it....but being not in some documentary festivals or in USA, I'll wait.
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Ang Mo
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Postby Ang Mo » Thu Apr 02, 2009 5:08 am

Watched Alfred Hitchcock's film Strangers on a Train which is one of his more exciting action packed films. It stars this actor, who was quite good in the role, with a real bizarre name: Farley Granger who plays a tennis pro named Guy Haines, who meets a psychotic socialite played by Robert Walker Sr. at random on a train ride home. (Walker plays the creepiest stalker, killer I have seen in the movies) The Robert Walker character named Bruno proposes an idea that two complete strangers can get away with murder. He will kill the Farley Granger character's wife in exchange for Granger's character killing Walker's characters father. Granger's character dimisses this idea as some dark absurd joke. He comes to see the gravity of the situation when the Bruno character searches him out a day later telling him that he has successfully killed Guy's wife and now it is time for him to fulfill his duty to kill Bruno's father.

Darn good flick. Excellent perfomrances by all. Hitchcock does his usual cameo in the film as a clumsy Bass player stumbling up the steps of the train with his oversized instrument case in front of him.
Pascal told only half the story. He said man was a thinking reed. What man is, is a thinking reed and a walking genital."

rahau
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Postby rahau » Sun Apr 26, 2009 7:03 am

Last month, I saw a couple of terrific documentary films at the San Francisco International Asian-American Film Festival.

The first was Pasty Mink - Ahead of the Majority, about the extraordinary Congresswoman from Hawaii, Patsy Mink. She was the first nonwhite women to serve in Congress, and the driving force behind Title IX, the law that ensured equal opportunity for women in higher education.

Patsy was a phenomenon. Born and raised in Hawaii, she was a pre-med major at the University of Nebraska, and graduated with honors. But when she applied to medical schools, she was turned down flat, solely because she was a woman. Rather than becoming discouraged, she channeled her anger into action. Instead of medical school, she went to law school.

Eventually, she was elected to Congress, and set about changing the rules that kept her out of medical school. When Title IX was finally passed, the results were dramatic. Female students finally received the same opportunity - and more importantly, the same funding - as male students. The number of women graduating from law and medical schools skyrocketed. The increased funding for women's sports gave us any number of gifted female athletes. One of the few decent things Dubya ever did was to sign that law that changed the name of Title IX to "The Patsy Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act." One wonders how many young women know about Mink, the woman who made it possible for them to achieve their dreams.

The other was You Don't Know Jack, a delightful film about the late actor/singer Jack Soo. Those of us who are of a certain age will remember Jack as Detective Yemana from the "Barney Miller" TV show. Soo was a multi-talented entertainer - a fine singer and dancer, and a brilliant comic actor. Jack had the most priceless deadpan delivery in the world.

With his last name of "Soo," most people thought Jack was Chinese. In fact, he was a Japanese-American from Oakland named Goro Suzuki. During World War Two, he and his family were sent to internment camps. True to form, he organized the camp entertainment. After the war, the anti-Japanese sentiment was still so intense, he could find work only by adopting a Chinese-sounding surname. Later, after his appearance in the film "Flower Drum Song," he tried to change his name back, but it was too late.

Jack was unique and courageous for refusing to play any role that required an Asian accent. He insisted on being American. Not only that - in a time when most Asians were portrayed as naive and unworldly, Jack was the hipster, the cool guy who made Caucasians look square and silly.

Neither film is available on DVD yet. But "Patsy Mink" is scheduled to run on several PBS stations, and "Jack Soo" is making the rounds of film festivals. Keep your eye out for both.

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Postby Walking Stranger » Sun Apr 26, 2009 3:24 pm

ben wrote:Does anybody ever seen or heard of an old movie called "I" for Icarus? It's a mid 70's film about an investigator (or a gov't. security officer) in charge of solving the assassination of a certain political leader. It has a great twist and best of all, the twist was actually revealed in the final seconds! If any of you stumbled upon it in the net, do let me know. I was too young to remember who starred in that movie, am not even sure if it's American or European.


Hi Ben,

You might already have watched it in UT :
"I comme Icare" - 1979 - Henri Verneuil with Yves Montand as main character :
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_z8pGS8XFfw

There is a post about it here

Peace & Joy !
WS

[EDIT : I was thinking of this movie "I for Icarus" - the episode when the main character discovered encrypted audio tapes about past and ongoing projects - when I was reading this article :
US Forces 'black' budget = 2nd biggest military on Earth
8th May 2009 09:13 GMT - By Lewis Page
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/05/08 ... ck_budget/

Maybe this movie "I for Icarus" was inspired by more than one political figure ?... but it seems to me that there is a kind of fractal architecture in history from one country to another one ...

... and you can imagine what they did not say... time to go to bed ... ]

[EDIT v2 : and this article too :
Twitterer cuffed for provoking 'financial panic'
18th May 2009 10:16 GMT - By Lester Haines
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/05/18 ... ro_cuffed/

All this makes me think of some another kind of mirror or fractal scenario in real world but where is the truth ?... the truth is somewhere else, a movie once told ...]

[EDIT v3 : and the show must go on in this "sick sad world" ... :
Obama administration joins Google
2nd June 2009 15:55 GMT - By Andrew Orlowski
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/06/02/obama_google/
Personally, it seems to me that the net of the internet is narrowing to take big fish at the same time as small fish.... "yes we can" / "democracy" label on a tin can / ICANN ]

[EDIT v4 : Some fish seem to be still moving... (OK, my last comment and update about this long story extrapolation from a movie done some decades ago) :
Obama urged to halt Google government takeover
5th June 2009 16:35 GMT - By Cade Metz
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/06/05 ... oogleness/]
Last edited by Walking Stranger on Fri Jun 05, 2009 7:52 pm, edited 6 times in total.
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Walking Stranger
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"500 Nations" - "Notre Musique"

Postby Walking Stranger » Tue Apr 28, 2009 10:24 pm

Here some documentaries that could bring you into tears ... like many philosophical questions do when questioning about the meaning of life ...

- "500 Nations" - Jack Leustig - 1995

I did a kind of sitting-marathon-living-room session when watching this documentary last week-end. This documentary could be found in some big public libraries but I ordered it a few weeks ago as I am not in a big city... and it came out with 4 sets of DVDs, a booklet plus black and white pictures inside the packaging. Now, I have no excuse not knowing about the Plymouth colony and Thanksgiving tradition (BTW special wink to Ang Mo)... I like the idea that I can rewind it again and again ...

The story of Pocahontas' dad dying afterwards his daughter's death - who married John Rolfe and went to England - confirms me that people need to be with people they love like plants need sunshine and connection to the land where they grow up, and if you take them far away, they die.
There is another sequence of a Native American woman who confirms that idea too at the end of the documentary, and I could imagine this is also true in real life for everyone ...

This kind of documentary like many nowadays reportages makes me wonder how many Thomas Tibbles, how many reporters did witness or are witnessing all the sufferings of women, children, old people and desperate young people who - walking in exodus, living in some camps with some rotten food filtered by some corrupted camps agents , somewhere in the map of the world - underwent, have been|are undergoing inhumane and crazy actions of a complex system fueled by greed ... and it seems to me that we have not moved an inch from barbarism towards a full and respectful humanity - with wars or more or less disguised wars perpetrated on simple people...
Do I sleep well when I know well that in some way, by our actions or inactions in our daily life, we are interwoven in this complex but not so innocent Rubik's cube world ? This makes me think twice about how a family or a handful of people are or get wealthy - with some dark means that are not so "moral" when you look back at the time frame of history ... This makes me wonder how the kids grow up when seeing their parents in such a weak condition ... Where is integrity, where is dignity, where is humanity, where is freedom ?

[DVD4 - Episode 7: Roads Across the Plains - from 23:32]
Dorothy Wood, Cheyenne, narrates the story about White Antelope singing the Death Song :
"Nothing lives long but the Earth and the mountains."



- "Notre musique" - Jean-Luc Godard - 2004

This film makes me remind of "Hiroshima Mon Amour" by the poetry, the mix of archives and actors' way of speaking, the music in the background enhancing the poetry behind the scenario which chapters are set into three-fold Kingdom : 1. Hell - 2. Purgatory - 3. Paradise.
Here some quotations of English subtitles from scenes that hooked me :

[2. Purgatory - from 14:55]
woman : I was wondering why aren't revolutions started by the most humane people ?
man 1 : Because humane people don't start revolutions. They start libraries.
man 2 : And cemeteries.

[2. Purgatory - from 15:40]
uncle : Killing a man to defend an idea isn't defending an idea, it's killing a man.

PEACE & JOY Soul Brothers & Sisters !
WS

[EDIT : ] I would like to share this music in a kind of world patchwork video :
"Stand By Me" Peace Through Music
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k6UqdvMRb3k
PEACE & JOY always !
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Ang Mo
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Postby Ang Mo » Sun May 10, 2009 4:38 am

Frozen Riverhttp://www.imdb.com/title/tt0978759/
Outstanding movie. A very realistic movie about two impoverished women who team up to sneak illegal aliens (Chinese and Pakistani) over the Canadian border into the U.S.
This was probably the best film of 2008. Absolutely riveting! It won the Sundance Film Festival award.
Pascal told only half the story. He said man was a thinking reed. What man is, is a thinking reed and a walking genital."

Walking Stranger
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Postby Walking Stranger » Fri Jul 24, 2009 12:08 am

Arbres - Un voyage immobile - Sophie Bruneau & Marc-Antoine Roudil - 2002

I don't know how to qualify such a documentary film about trees without using adjective that marketing over-uses in the mainstream media.
Well, first, close your eyes and listen to the narrator's voice (think about a movie and imagine the voice of God speaking to some Biblical character in a cave, yes a low voice and not a high pitched voice of some female character ... stating some serious sentence like "Thou shall not kill !" ...). So, look at an orange sun rising slowly on a shore and lightening a lonely tree in the mid of the waves, then listen carefully to the low voice that narrates the story of the baobab that grows near a pond and complains to God about its physical appearance, again follow the same low voice that describes the walking tree, the criminal tree, the crazy tree, and look at the shade of the sunset on an orange sand hill with leafless trees as the shade of a curtain at the end of this film.

I don't know if this documentary has an English version around the world as a DVD release but I'm glad to discover the bonus parts of this one, especially :
- the interview with the researcher and botanist Francis Hallé : how the tree is like an old aristocrat English lady who could not move but has a butler to serve her, butler standing for animal including human being and botany students with cortex and brain who are manipulated by a brainless-and-cortex-less-but-not-less-clever vegetable being, how the visible part of the tree is like an iceberg and how little scientists know about the roots, about how a tree in a pot can grow and gains weight and density from the air and not from the ground, about how moon and sun both exert tidal influences on a tree that has water in its body ... and Francis Hallé to conclude how scientific language is confined and could not be used to explain what poetry and literature manage to express...
- how filming trees is not as easy as filming a moving character : a tree neither bows to humane people nor to cameras ...
- how the documentary film inspires children in a school : just looking at the paintings and you can guess that beauty does not need to be confined in a museum ...

After re-re-re-watching this documentary about trees, I come out with an overall idea that we humane people as animals are all-walking-stomachs-that-need-to-explore-space-our-whole-life-till-our-death-for-the-sole-reason-of-food-research and the tree is like a virtually immortal silent, wise, non-violent being that masters the time ...
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Postby Ang Mo » Tue Jul 28, 2009 2:05 am

Harry "Freakin" Potter and the Half Blood Prince

I was entertained by this last installment and they still managed to make the kids look younger than they really are. I love the architecture in these films. How cool would it be to have a moving staircase etc.
Pascal told only half the story. He said man was a thinking reed. What man is, is a thinking reed and a walking genital."


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